Hopes submerged 

- July 15, 2023
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

The misery of those living on the margins in flood-affected parts of the Capital have been compounded by the floods

A makeshift school drowned due to the flood

Forty-year-old Pinki is concerned about her daughter’s marriage, because the trousseau she collected for her marriage has submerged in the ongoing floods, which are the worst ever and have adversely affected many low-lying areas of the Capital.

“My daughter’s marriage was fixed for November but all the things collected for it are lost. We had been collecting it for a long time now. Now I can’t say what will happen. We will request the groom’s family to extend the date of marriage. Because we won’t be able to arrange the trousseau by November,” said Pinki, a resident of the Jal Board Colony in Yamuna Bazaar in the Kashmiri Gate area, to Patriot.

Pinki lives here with her husband and two children. Her husband works in Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and now she is stranded on the road along with thousands.

People of Yamuna Bazaar were seen trying to save and collect their belongings from the water.

The water level of Yamuna in Delhi touched an unprecedented 208.63 meters on Thursday. Many areas in Delhi were heavily water-logged. Lakhs of people have been displaced and are forcibly living on the road or in very vulnerable conditions.

She said further, “We have been living here for generations but never saw this kind of situation. Our home has been filled with water, fully drowning me. The water began entering our home from 9 am [on Thursday] and flowed in very quickly. I had no time to carry our belongings or adjust it on top of the house. We couldn’t even save the table and folding charpoy. The water came like keher (disaster). The elderly people in our family used to tell us about the flood of 1978 and how the authorities alerted them at that time. But no one alerted us this time.”

Lack of responsibility

“The governments made big promises. Tell me, who will be responsible for our loss? We have suffered immensely. I can’t express what I am going through. Money, belongings everything has been washed away. No one from the authority, nor any politician came here for any kind of help throughout Thursday. We tried to call but no one responded. We didn’t have a meal the entire day. I had to send my child to fetch something from the market.”

Delhi floods: Capturing the suffering in pictures

She isn’t the only one. A resident of the Priyadarshini Colony near Kashmiri Gate narrated a similarly harrowing tale.

“My home has been flooded. The water level in my home is up to knee-level, so we are sitting on the road. My belongings are submerged. No government or politician of any party came here. There was no relief camp nor help. We only got a water bottle. I work night shifts. When I came, the water had filled the house. We adjusted some important things on the first floor. We are helpless,” he said helplessly.

Helping hand

However, the scene in Mayur Vihar area was different. Victims got some facilities. During Patriot’s visit, a Noida-based NGO ‘Thaagam Foundation’ distributed packed food to the survivors. A member of the NGO said that the Chennai-based foundation works for underprivileged children and distributes food to more than 5,000 people.

Locals lined up for food in Mayur Vihar

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) also arranged a truck full of food, which was distributed two times a day. People had queued up for it.

“We bring the food at 11 am and 5 pm daily. We distribute food daily to around 10,000 people here because they have lost almost everything — from agricultural land to belongings. Wherever people [in Delhi] are facing difficulties, we send them food and help,” a volunteer of the committee told Patriot.

A doctor was also there, giving medicine free of cost to the needy. He was appointed by the government but refused to disclose his identity.

He said, “There is nothing to panic as of now. Patients suffering from flu, normal fever and cold are coming. I am getting 40 patients daily.”

When asked, if he has referred any patient to a hospital yet, he said, “No”.

Apart from this, personnel from Civil Defence and National Disaster Response Force were deployed to help the needy.

Tents were also installed by the government, though insufficient to accommodate all.

People, however, lost many of their belongings here as well.

Children hit by the flood resting in their makeshift homes

Kiran, 35, was sitting beneath the Mayur Vihar flyover on a charpoy.

Since the flood began, this has been her only home like it is for thousand others displaced from Yamuna Khadar.

“We have been living here for around a decade. We do farming on lease, and grow vegetables. Now, we have lost everything. Our crop of Okra was ready to go to the market, but now it has been destroyed. We carry only food material, otherwise everything has been submerged in flood.”

The mesh of flyovers in Mayur Vihar is the ‘straw’ thousands of homeless flood victims are holding to. Not only humans, but cattle have also been affected due to unexpected floods.

Patriot witnessed two buffaloes being rescued by locals. They had been stuck in water for 3-4 days. The NDRF team was also searching and patrolling inside the areas.

Buffalo that was rescued by the locals after four days

Bhoop Singh of the Yamuna Khadar in Mayur Vihar is waiting for his cattle. His cattle is stuck for four days.

“Three engines [for cutting fodder] are stuck in the flood, and all the farming has been destroyed. Buffaloes are also lost. We were rescued in boats but the belongings were left behind. Never seen anything like this before. Situation has worsened,” he revealed his pain to Patriot.